The DAS Director works closely with the Section 504/ADA Coordinator to assure compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1992. Also, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator receives complaints related to possible discrimination based on physical access needs. The Title IX Officer serves as the Section 504/ADA Coordinator.
Disability and Accessibility Services (DAS) Grievance Policy and Procedures
Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) is committed to promoting equal access to all programs, services, and activities at Berea College. Students who are concerned that they have been denied equal access as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) are encouraged to follow the procedures outlined below. Please see the U.S. Department of Education website for more information about Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities.
Students have two ways to express their concerns: an informal resolution procedure available through the DAS Director and a more formal grievance procedure through the ADA Compliance Officer. Although students are encouraged to solve disputes at the lowest possible level and to use internal procedures to the fullest extent, a student may choose to initiate a formal grievance at any time.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), encourages individuals first to use internal grievance procedures, and when such procedures meet OCR's investigative standards, OCR will generally defer to the results reached if the process provided for fair consideration of the grievance (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/prevention.html).
Informal Resolution Procedure
Clear communication between students, faculty/staff, and DAS is vital to utilizing DAS services effectively. Where possible, students are encouraged to first address concerns and problems with the individuals most directly involved in the situation: the DAS Director regarding eligibility for accommodations and specific accommodations; the individual faculty or staff member in the cases of implementation or lack of approved accommodations.
Students are encouraged to express any concerns with the DAS Director, Lisa Ladanyi (859-985-3327, 111 Lincoln Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org). If for a specific reason the grievance cannot be discussed with the DAS Director, or if the complaint is about the DAS Director, contact DAS supervisor, Dwayne Mack (859-985-3369, 301 Lincoln Hall, email@example.com).
Students who are experiencing difficulty in receiving authorized accommodations by a faculty or staff member, department, or program should first address their concerns with the faculty or staff member charged with providing the accommodation.
DAS is available to offer assistance by discussing and exploring options with the student and/or faculty or staff member, contacting the concerned party in an effort to clarify issues, facilitating a meeting with the concerned parties, and/or advocating for the student’s right to receive appropriate and effective accommodations to the extent required under either the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA.
The Kentucky Department of Education State ADA Coordinator is available for consultation in regard to any questions or concern a student may have about one’s accommodations (1-877-423-2933 or www.ada.ky.gov).
A student who is not satisfied with the resolution on this level may choose to file a formal complaint.
Formal Grievance procedure
The student may submit a formal written grievance to the Berea College Section 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator, Joslyn Glover (859-985-3606, 006 Lincoln Hall, Joslyn_Glover@berea.edu). When making a formal complaint, a student should include specific information about the concern or problem (describe the issue(s), incident(s) and the action(s) taken; state the name of the individual(s) or office(s) involved; and show documented efforts to resolve the complaint). The Section 504/ADA Coordinator will meet with the student to discuss the complaint and will conduct any necessary investigation.
The Section 504/ADA Coordinator will issue a written decision including findings and remedial actions, if any, to be taken by Berea College and/or the student. This decision shall be issued to the student and any others deemed appropriate within fifteen (15) calendar days of the Section 504/ADA Coordinator’s receipt of the complaint. Files and records on all formal grievances shall be maintained by the Section 504/ADA Coordinator.
If a student is not satisfied with the formal grievance procedure, the student may appeal to the President for de novo review of the Section 504/ADA Coordinator’s decision. The appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar days of the decision. The determination of the President on any such appeal is final.
If the grievance is not resolved internally at the College, the student may choose to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education (100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Tel: (215) 656-8541; Fax: (215) 656-8605; OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov. How to file a complaint of discrimination with OCR.
Approved by the Administrative Committee, February 2015.
Assistance Animals in Student Housing
Assistance Animals are animals that work, assist and/or perform tasks and services for the benefit of a person with a disability or provide emotional support for therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating symptoms of a disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a signed statement from a physician or other qualified medical professional stating that the animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An assistance animal does not need specific training. In the United States, federal protection against housing discrimination is afforded under two federal statutes: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.
With the exception of service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Berea College requires all Assistance Animals be registered through the Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) prior to being brought to campus and entering the residence halls. During this registration process, students will need to make an appointment with DAS and provide verification of the disability and an explanation from a qualified individual of the purpose and need of the assistance animal. While not an exhaustive list, examples of "qualified individuals" include treating physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed counselors. DAS will provide authorization that will indicate your animal has been approved and authorizes you to have your animal on campus and in your residence hall room. Students residing with their Assistance Animals in Student Housing will have to provide a yearly updated vaccination record for the animal to the Student Housing staff.
The College is not responsible to provide care or food for any Assistance Animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.
While your animal is on campus the student has the following responsibilities:
- Maintain all required vaccinations for the animal.
- Maintain control of the animal by leash, harness or tether, or properly contained in an appropriate container any time the animal is outside of the room.
- Ensure the animal is well cared for at all times.
- With the exception of service animals, Assistance Animals are allowed in public and common areas of the student’s residence hall. The animal must not interfere with the opportunity of other students sharing the space.
- Work cooperatively with Student Life Team Members and student staff to resolve issues that might arise due to the presence of the animal, including those involving other residents.
- Live animals cannot be brought on campus to be fed to Assistance Animals.
- Properly contain and dispose of all animal waste in appropriate outside trash containers.
- The student is responsible if the animal attacks or harms another person.
Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the requirement of the removal of the animal from the residence hall and campus. An individual with a disability may be charged for any damage caused by his or her Assistance Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that other individuals are charged for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. If either of these events occurs, the person being charged may appeal the decision through the Student Life Office.
For more information about Assistance Animals, including Emotional Support Animals, requirements, and responsibilities, please see Assistance Animal Procedures on the DAS website. For more information about Service Animals, please see Service Animal Procedures on the DAS website.
Berea College is committed to assuring equal access to all persons, as required by law. It is the College’s policy to permit service animals on campus in all areas where persons are normally allowed to go with some exceptions. Service animals are, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Under Kentucky State Law, service animals include service dogs in training.
Berea College reserves the right to restrict service animals in certain locations due to health, environmental, or safety hazards. Access to restricted areas may be considered on a case-by-case basis by contacting Disabilities & Accessibility Services (DAS).
Service animals shall be appropriately attended, restrained, and controlled by the handler. Under certain circumstances, a service animal may be excluded. Please see Service Animals Procedures for more information.
A College employee may ask two questions to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, if it is not obvious what service the animal provides: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the handler’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task. Service animals shall, however, be acclimatized and properly oriented to the campus environment to avoid health or safety issues. When staying in Student Housing, the handler must submit verification of the animal’s health and vaccination to appropriate staff in Student Housing. The handler is responsible for any damage the service animal may cause to property or other individuals.
For more information about service animals, please see Service Animals Procedures on the DAS website. This policy is overseen by Disability and Accessibility Services.